Two Cats Escape, Another Dies During November Air Travel

DOT releases monthly cat-related airline incident report.

Posted: January 4 2008 2 a.m. EDT

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Two Cats Escape, Another Dies During November Air Travel
U.S. airlines are required to document incidents involving cats and other pets.
Two cats escaped, and one cat died in unrelated air travel incidents in November on U.S. flights, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s monthly air travel report released yesterday.

Continental Airlines reported that a 12-year-old domestic shorthair cat was traveling on flight 551 from Raleigh, N.C., to Houston on Nov. 5 when he escaped in Raleigh. The incident report states that the cat was being transported to the aircraft when the kennel door “popped open,” and the cat ran out. Airport personnel failed to follow airline policy and secure the door with zip ties, which would have prevented the loss, according to the airline. Continental says its efforts to locate the cat are ongoing.

Delta Airlines reported that one cat escaped, and one cat died during November air travel. On Nov. 30, a cat was on its way from Philadelphia to Salt Lake City on flight 1409/30 when the cat escaped through the top door hatch of its kennel in Philadelphia. The kennel did not have a solid roof and did not meet International Air Transport Association requirements. The report states that cargo and ramp agents search for the cat daily, and station managers were briefed on proper kennel procedures.

On Nov. 2, Delta reported that a 14-year-old cat died during transport on flight 1287 from New York’s JFK Airport to Tampa, Fla. Upon unloading in Tampa, a ramp agent noticed the cat was deceased in its kennel. A necropsy was performed, which determined the cat died of cardiovascular collapse due to three pre-existing conditions — liver disease, cardiac disease and kidney disease. No corrective action was taken.

In addition to cat-related incidents, Delta Airlines reported one dog death and two dog losses, and Alaska Airlines reported two dog injuries during flights in November.

The Department of Agriculture states that they review airlines’ incident reports for violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), such as kennel size or temperature breaches, and pursue investigations if the department questions whether the AWA was violated, according to the department’s animal care staff.

More than 2 million pets and live animals are transported by air each year in the United States, according to the DOT.
 
-Heidi Hatch, Associate News Editor for CatChannel.com

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Reader Comments

debby    oxford, NC

1/4/2008 9:05:51 PM

really need to step up the secure way to have animals travel..it is everyones responseiblty!

ruby    Chicago, IL

1/4/2008 5:40:26 PM

Its sad that so many incidents happened last year with pets traveling. Hopefully more is done in the future to prevent more pets from getting lost.

BOB    MC CORMICK, SC

1/4/2008 5:39:02 PM

HAD IT BEEN PASSENGERS THE WORLD WOULD BE IN A UPROAR I BET. THERE MUST BE A WAY TO SECURE THE CAGES SO NOTHING CAN HAPPEN TO THEM. NOT A GOOD WAY TO TAKE A PET...SCARY AT BEST.

Angela & Chica    Arlington, VA

1/4/2008 3:06:16 PM

Traveling pets should be treated with more respect and given a location inside the cabin where they can be placed by their owners. What a sad way to lose a pet.

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